Cool off with a slice of no-bake ice cream cake! This easy summertime treat combines two of your favorite ice cream flavors, hot fudge, homemade whipped cream, and sprinkles—all on top of an Oreo cookie crust. Because this cake needs to freeze for at least 12 hours prior to serving, it’s a great make-ahead dessert option for birthday parties, BBQs, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and more.
We’re tackling a never-before-seen recipe on my website today: ice cream cake! This easy and refreshing treat is made for summertime celebrations. With 5 layers to love, it keeps us smiling, satisfied, and cool all season long.
Why You’ll Love This Ice Cream Cake
- 5 layers of decadence
- Easy no-bake recipe
- Use your favorite ice cream flavors
- Something for everyone to enjoy
- Ribbons of fudge throughout
- Topped with cheerful sprinkles
- Like cookie ice cream sandwiches, this is a wonderful make-ahead dessert
5 Layers to Love
There are 5 layers in this ice cream beauty—let’s review each one:
- Oreo Cookie Crust: This cookie crust comes together with just 2 ingredients: Oreo cookies and melted butter. Be sure to use the entire cookie (the chocolate cookies and the cream filling) when pulsing the cookies into crumbs. Since this recipe fits a 9×13-inch pan, I slightly scaled up my regular Oreo cookie crust.
- Chocolate Ice Cream
- Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
- Hot Fudge: Use a store-bought variety or make your own! I used this homemade hot fudge sauce recipe from Brown Eyed Baker and it’s easily the best I’ve ever tasted. It yields a little more than we need for this cake, but I’m certainly not upset with leftover hot fudge.
- Whipped Cream & Sprinkles: We top with homemade whipped cream for the final layer. You’ll appreciate how quickly and easily it comes together! For a finishing touch, garnish with colorful sprinkles for the ultimate dessert.
You can use any flavors of ice cream you want. Chocolate and peanut butter is a favorite combination in my family, but you could also try: chocolate + cookies ‘n’ cream, vanilla + strawberry, chocolate + mint chip, chocolate + vanilla, or coffee + cookies ‘n’ cream. The options are endless!
Here are a few step photos of the process. It’s really not as much work as it seems, though you will take a few trips back and forth from the freezer. You’ll find a video tutorial and the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
After you make the Oreo cookie crust and tightly pack it into the pan, freeze it for 15 minutes. During this time, get your first flavor of ice cream ready (below). Spread this ice cream onto the crust and freeze it.
Get your second flavor of ice cream ready. Spread this ice cream onto the first layer of ice cream and freeze it (below).
While the 2 ice cream layers are freezing, prepare your hot fudge. You’ll let the hot fudge sauce cool down after making it, but it will never be as cold as the ice cream layer underneath it. Because of the difference in temperature, the hot fudge and the top layer of ice cream swirl together—this is to be expected. Place the cake back in the freezer for 15 minutes before spreading the whipped cream on top.
Make the whipped cream. Spread this on top of the hot fudge and add sprinkles (below). Freeze until ready to serve! As the cake freezes, the inside layers stay separate, but move around quite a bit, creating beautiful layers.
Ice Cream Cake Success Tips
- Soften the ice cream and stir it around in a bowl to smooth it out before layering. Stirring the ice cream creates a uniform texture which makes layering so much easier.
- Freeze the cake for 15–30 minutes in between adding each layer.
- Make sure you have at least an hour to prepare the cake. See #2.
- Follow the Oreo crust recipe below. More butter than written below (we use 1/2 cup today) made the frozen crust way too firm, and cutting was quite difficult.
- If using store-bought hot fudge, slightly heat it up. This makes it a little easier to spread on top of the ice cream. The hot fudge and the top layer of ice cream will sort of mesh together as you spread and that’s OK!
- At a minimum, let the cake freeze overnight (and up to a few days).
- For clean cuts, run a sharp knife under hot water before slicing. This trick works when cutting brownie ice cream sandwiches too.
Homemade Whipped Cream
Homemade whipped cream is so easy to make and the perfect topping for our ice cream cake. And it’s nice to have a homemade element to this cake, especially if you’re using store-bought ice cream and hot fudge. You only need 3 simple ingredients to whip up a batch—it’s light, refreshing, and adds a wonderful texture to today’s frozen dessert.Print
Simple and divine 5-layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust. Cool off and celebrate with this easy recipe!
- 30 regular Oreos (not Double-Stuf)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
- 1 quart your choice flavor ice cream, softened (I used peanut butter cup)
- 1 and 1/2 cups (420g) hot fudge (store-bought or yummy homemade)
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Make the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse 30 Oreos (including the cream filling) into a fine crumb. You should have about 3 cups crumbs, or 330g. Pour crumbs into a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. The mixture will be thick and quite wet. Try to smash/break up any large chunks. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 9×13-inch pan. With medium pressure using your hand, pat the crumbs down into the bottom to make a compact, thick crust. Freeze for 15 minutes.
- During that time, place the softened chocolate ice cream in a bowl and give it a good stir to rid any frozen lumps. You want a nice smooth, soft ice cream. Spread it on top of the frozen crust. Freeze for 15–30 minutes. (Closer to 30 minutes is ideal.)
- During that time, place the 2nd ice cream flavor into a bowl and stir it until it is smooth and very soft. Carefully spread on top of the chocolate ice cream. Freeze for 15–30 minutes. (Closer to 30 minutes is ideal.)
- Make sure the hot fudge is spreadable consistency. You may have to slightly heat it if using store-bought. Spread it on top of the ice cream as best you can. Because it is not as cold as the ice cream layer, the two will slightly mix together as you spread. That’s ok. Freeze for 15–30 minutes. (Closer to 30 minutes is ideal.)
- Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4–5 minutes. Spread on top of hot fudge layer, then top with sprinkles. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 12 hours before serving (and up to a few days).
- Use a very sharp knife to cut, making sure you are cutting into the crust. Keep leftovers in the freezer.
- Ice Cream: 1 quart of ice cream is 2/3 of a standard 1.5 quart container. So you’ll use a little more than half of the container for each ice cream layer.
Keywords: ice cream cake, easy ice cream cake